Author Topic: Abortion  (Read 3997 times)

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Offline El Barto

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #245 on: May 31, 2019, 09:29:46 AM »
I usually avoid abortion discussions because I can see both sides perspectives and can't really back up my own to a convincing degree.

That said, I realized that one philosophical (sorry Stadler) and moral (REALLY sorry Stadler) assumption being made by pro-lifers is that any life is preferred to no life. I do not see why that is true.
Yep. I made this point a few months ago. There's an assumption that everybody wants to be born that I think is faulty.

But that's up to YOU to decide, not someone else for you.   
So you're defending the people who would make that decision for me?

I'm not sure what you're asking.   I'm saying that the assumption only holds - as a sort of default, a fail-safe, if you will - when we don't know what the owner of that life things.

Again, I'm not sure what you're asking, but I don't think I'm defending the people who would make that decision for you, because I don't think anyone CAN make that decision for you.
My point has been that the discussion has to go both ways. Is it any more reasonable to assume that a person's life is worth living than it is to assume that it's not? That's essentially what we're doing. We force existence upon the unborn because we assume that's what they want.

Moreover, in the case of the "person" that cannot make that determination on their own, we allow the responsible guardian to make that call. If a child has terminal cancer the decision making about how best to proceed is left to the parent/s. Yet the same people who would suggest that a foetus is a child deny its parents the right to determine what's best for it, in this case existence vs non-existence, which is not the same as death.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #246 on: May 31, 2019, 10:02:46 AM »
I think what Barto's getting at, which is also part of my point, is that the people (in government banning abortions to this extent) ARE making the decision to keep you (the fetus) alive. That's as much a decision as deciding to terminate the pregnancy. It also is seen as the safe decision because, again, life is assumed to be preferable to no life.
AND
I usually avoid abortion discussions because I can see both sides perspectives and can't really back up my own to a convincing degree.

That said, I realized that one philosophical (sorry Stadler) and moral (REALLY sorry Stadler) assumption being made by pro-lifers is that any life is preferred to no life. I do not see why that is true.
Yep. I made this point a few months ago. There's an assumption that everybody wants to be born that I think is faulty.

But that's up to YOU to decide, not someone else for you.   
So you're defending the people who would make that decision for me?

I'm not sure what you're asking.   I'm saying that the assumption only holds - as a sort of default, a fail-safe, if you will - when we don't know what the owner of that life things.

Again, I'm not sure what you're asking, but I don't think I'm defending the people who would make that decision for you, because I don't think anyone CAN make that decision for you.
My point has been that the discussion has to go both ways. Is it any more reasonable to assume that a person's life is worth living than it is to assume that it's not? That's essentially what we're doing. We force existence upon the unborn because we assume that's what they want.

Moreover, in the case of the "person" that cannot make that determination on their own, we allow the responsible guardian to make that call. If a child has terminal cancer the decision making about how best to proceed is left to the parent/s. Yet the same people who would suggest that a foetus is a child deny its parents the right to determine what's best for it, in this case existence vs non-existence, which is not the same as death.

Couple things here.  We have to be careful in our language.  "BANNING ABORTION" is not the same thing as the "assumption that life is better than no life".   They are related, like "ejaculation" and "orgasm" are related, but they are not, in fact, the same thing.   Banning abortion is PREDICATED, for some (not all) on that assumption, but that assumption doesn't mean that abortion is automatically banned.   

What I was talking about was that difference.   The assumption plays when we have no more information to go on.  If we haev information - whether it's a living will, or a determination from a guardian (or mother) we act on it. 

Also, I wrote a post that I didn't actually post because I feared it was inflammatory (and that was not at all my intent) but the concept of the post is important here:  we cannot compare a terminal cancer patient, or perhaps Terry Schiavo, with abortion, necessarily, because abortion laws - especially those that are opposed on the blanket position of "bodily autonomy" - don't make these distinctions.   Move away from the extremes and see how quickly the argument dissipates.    Even some hard core pro-lifers can see the wisdom in allowing abortion when neither the mother or the fetus will survive the pregnancy.   But what about the quality of life argument when that 18-year-old has to foresake that Ivy League school, the marriage to the prestigious upper class family scion (not the Dad) and the hit to the family business from the resulting scandal?  Is that "life worth living"?     And lest we resort to "bodily autonomy" as the argument, what about me?   I have an ex-wife that I now have to deal with for the rest of my life; I am severely (financially) disadvantaged by her presence, and my decision-making ability has been compromised as well.   Do I get to kill her?   What about my autonomy? 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #247 on: May 31, 2019, 10:24:41 AM »
I think what Barto's getting at, which is also part of my point, is that the people (in government banning abortions to this extent) ARE making the decision to keep you (the fetus) alive. That's as much a decision as deciding to terminate the pregnancy. It also is seen as the safe decision because, again, life is assumed to be preferable to no life.
AND
I usually avoid abortion discussions because I can see both sides perspectives and can't really back up my own to a convincing degree.

That said, I realized that one philosophical (sorry Stadler) and moral (REALLY sorry Stadler) assumption being made by pro-lifers is that any life is preferred to no life. I do not see why that is true.
Yep. I made this point a few months ago. There's an assumption that everybody wants to be born that I think is faulty.

But that's up to YOU to decide, not someone else for you.   
So you're defending the people who would make that decision for me?

I'm not sure what you're asking.   I'm saying that the assumption only holds - as a sort of default, a fail-safe, if you will - when we don't know what the owner of that life things.

Again, I'm not sure what you're asking, but I don't think I'm defending the people who would make that decision for you, because I don't think anyone CAN make that decision for you.
My point has been that the discussion has to go both ways. Is it any more reasonable to assume that a person's life is worth living than it is to assume that it's not? That's essentially what we're doing. We force existence upon the unborn because we assume that's what they want.

Moreover, in the case of the "person" that cannot make that determination on their own, we allow the responsible guardian to make that call. If a child has terminal cancer the decision making about how best to proceed is left to the parent/s. Yet the same people who would suggest that a foetus is a child deny its parents the right to determine what's best for it, in this case existence vs non-existence, which is not the same as death.

Couple things here.  We have to be careful in our language.  "BANNING ABORTION" is not the same thing as the "assumption that life is better than no life".   They are related, like "ejaculation" and "orgasm" are related, but they are not, in fact, the same thing.   Banning abortion is PREDICATED, for some (not all) on that assumption, but that assumption doesn't mean that abortion is automatically banned.   
I don't think either of us were making that comparison. [I presume] We are calling into question that predicate assumption, which I think is a necessary component of the pro-life argument.
Quote
What I was talking about was that difference.   The assumption plays when we have no more information to go on.  If we haev information - whether it's a living will, or a determination from a guardian (or mother) we act on it. 
Except when we forbid it, as in the case of the expectant mother. We deem her incapable of executing that determination because she might choose something that flies in the face of that predicate assumption.


Quote
Also, I wrote a post that I didn't actually post because I feared it was inflammatory (and that was not at all my intent) but the concept of the post is important here:  we cannot compare a terminal cancer patient, or perhaps Terry Schiavo, with abortion, necessarily, because abortion laws - especially those that are opposed on the blanket position of "bodily autonomy" - don't make these distinctions.   Move away from the extremes and see how quickly the argument dissipates.    Even some hard core pro-lifers can see the wisdom in allowing abortion when neither the mother or the fetus will survive the pregnancy.   But what about the quality of life argument when that 18-year-old has to foresake that Ivy League school, the marriage to the prestigious upper class family scion (not the Dad) and the hit to the family business from the resulting scandal?  Is that "life worth living"?     And lest we resort to "bodily autonomy" as the argument, what about me?   I have an ex-wife that I now have to deal with for the rest of my life; I am severely (financially) disadvantaged by her presence, and my decision-making ability has been compromised as well.   Do I get to kill her?   What about my autonomy?
I can't say that I fully understand your point here, but it seems to me that 18 year old has its own bodily autonomy. As did you when you chose to marry your ex-wife.

More importantly, though, we're not talking about your or the mother's quality of life. We're talking about the future child's. If you know that kid is going to have a shitty life because you don't want it, can't afford it, and will almost certainly resent it, you should have the option of deciding its best interests. Interests which might not jibe with spending 18 years in the Texas foster care system, getting buggered by guards and most likely graduating to the Texas penal system. (Yeah, we've had some scandals down here).
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #248 on: May 31, 2019, 10:29:11 AM »
I included El Barto's post in the last reply, but didn't really address it.  Bart, we're saying the same thing.  I agree, any discussion has to cover both arguments, but increasingly - and with blanket statements like "the sanctity of life" and "bodily autonomy" - arguments aren't being properly addressed.   There's a adage "good cases make bad law", and while it's trite, there is truth there.

In many cases, we're not interested in the extremes or the niche cases, we just want to prevent broader behaviors, and we'll deal with the specifics as they arise.    We can't really do that with abortion laws because there is an incredibly (exceedingly, in the timeline of the courts) small window with which to act.   Divorce cases can last as long as two years, or more.  Other than this one lady on Dr. Phil - who I think he determined had eaten lead paint chips and was in need of counseling and medical atttention - there haven't been any pregnancies that have lasted that long.   

I don't that I would - "could" is the better word - make that distinction that "existence" (or not) is not the same as "death".   If you believe that the fetus is a life, they are concurrent, aren't they?   I'm all for splitting hairs if it let's us deal with the maximum number of people in the best possible way, but I think that's a splitting of hairs that creates a problem not solves it.   

I allude to it above, but we also haven't addressed the problem of conflict of interest; what when the "best interests of the child" are at odds with "the best interests of the mother"?  I can tell you that guardianship only goes so far in that regard.  I know for a fact that in CT if a parent acts too frequently and too egregiously in favor of his/her interests over the child's, a guardian ad litem will be installed, and we're not even talking about "life/death" issues, but just financial (I know a case where a kid was... hurt, I think severely bitten by a dog or something like that, and received a multi-million dollar settlement.   The court allowed the purchase of a new car, TOLERATED the purchase of a new house, but drew the line on a vacation "for the well-being of the family" and installed a guardian ad litem to, among other things, govern the use of settlement monies.   I would venture that it won't be long before we start seeing these kinds of moves with regards to vaccinations.   I'm not far out in left field to say that if a GAL is necessary to spend funds, or administer vaccines, it's not a stretch to say it might be necessary to govern fundamental existence. 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #249 on: May 31, 2019, 10:43:53 AM »
I don't know if your last post was in response to my most recent or not, so I'll just hit on this for now.

I don't that I would - "could" is the better word - make that distinction that "existence" (or not) is not the same as "death".   If you believe that the fetus is a life, they are concurrent, aren't they?   I'm all for splitting hairs if it let's us deal with the maximum number of people in the best possible way, but I think that's a splitting of hairs that creates a problem not solves it.   
Death occurs after the accumulation of life. For the most part the living want to live. The non-existent don't give a shit. We generally want to live because we've been alive. Myself, I have an inherent interest in what is to come. While I don't fear death I don't want to die for that reason (along with the pain it would cause loved ones). Had I never been born in the first place none of this would apply. Maybe you (general) want to live for the sake of your children. See above. You're not born, they're not born. Whatever keeps you from wanting to go out the window is only present because you existed in the first place. All of these things that instill a will to survive only happen because you were born and survived the first few years. If you never existed then what difference does it make?
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #250 on: May 31, 2019, 10:48:35 AM »
I don't think either of us were making that comparison. [I presume] We are calling into question that predicate assumption, which I think is a necessary component of the pro-life argument.
AND
Quote
Except when we forbid it, as in the case of the expectant mother. We deem her incapable of executing that determination because she might choose something that flies in the face of that predicate assumption.

Again, we're sort of talking around things.   It CAN be a necessary component but it need not be, and that's what I'm saying.  You can't assume that.  If we as a society say that, as a default, "life" is better than "no life", we can always make exceptions.   I'm sure there is someone in the United States that won't, but many will.  About 75% of Americans support doctor-supported euthenasia.   That doesn't suggest that most people agree that "any life is better than no life".   Contrast to the fact that even on it's best day, abortion (legal in most or all cases) only sees about 55% acceptance across the board.   

I think the predicate question for the pro-lifer isn't at the point of "any life better than no life" but rather "the fetus IS a life to begin with", as opposed to a complicated tumor that can be removed at the host's discretion, up until the tumor is naturally excreted".   

Quote
I can't say that I fully understand your point here, but it seems to me that 18 year old has its own bodily autonomy. As did you when you chose to marry your ex-wife.

More importantly, though, we're not talking about your or the mother's quality of life. We're talking about the future child's. If you know that kid is going to have a shitty life because you don't want it, can't afford it, and will almost certainly resent it, you should have the option of deciding its best interests. Interests which might not jibe with spending 18 years in the Texas foster care system, getting buggered by guards and most likely graduating to the Texas penal system. (Yeah, we've had some scandals down here).

Again, this goes back to the REAL (as I see it) predicate question: is the fetus a life or not.

If it is, then there is no fundamental legal or moral difference between a 26 week fetus, and a 26-month old baby.  They are, legally, the same.  So if mom can decide that the prospects aren't good for a 26 week fetus, then there is no reason at all that a mother of a 26-month old baby can't decide the same thing. 

For any of this to work we HAVE to agree on the point at which "life" begins.   It's the very center of the universe for all of this.  And the unescapable truth is, there are people in this world that legitimately and reasonably believe that life begins at conception.  You (or I, for that matter) don't have to agree with that, but we DO have to accept that not everyone agrees with us.   As I noted several pages ago, I'm willing, for myself, to concede that every woman should be able to make that decision for themselves VIS-A-VIS THE GOVERNMENT, but that doesn't mean at all that I agree with their determination of when life begins.   And also unfortunately, we have people - on both sides of the aisle, and in all aspects of intent - who feel that they have obligation to defend positions that they don't personally hold.    The very success of every civil rights movement is predicated on this theory.   If you're a white and defended a black issue or if you're straight and ever defended a gay position, you know this.   The "pro-life" position, when you strip away the extraneous crazy that grabs the spotlight, is merely those of the age of consent defending a position for those that aren't (yet).   

Offline Stadler

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #251 on: May 31, 2019, 10:55:07 AM »
I don't know if your last post was in response to my most recent or not, so I'll just hit on this for now.

I don't that I would - "could" is the better word - make that distinction that "existence" (or not) is not the same as "death".   If you believe that the fetus is a life, they are concurrent, aren't they?   I'm all for splitting hairs if it let's us deal with the maximum number of people in the best possible way, but I think that's a splitting of hairs that creates a problem not solves it.   
Death occurs after the accumulation of life. For the most part the living want to live. The non-existent don't give a shit. We generally want to live because we've been alive. Myself, I have an inherent interest in what is to come. While I don't fear death I don't want to die for that reason (along with the pain it would cause loved ones). Had I never been born in the first place none of this would apply. Maybe you (general) want to live for the sake of your children. See above. You're not born, they're not born. Whatever keeps you from wanting to go out the window is only present because you existed in the first place. All of these things that instill a will to survive only happen because you were born and survived the first few years. If you never existed then what difference does it make?

Had you not been born or conceived?   

I don't disagree with your post at all, except for the definition of "exist".    You mention the "pain it would cause loved ones", and that "had you not been born in the first place, none of this would apply".   I don't want to say too much more because I don't want to sandbag you, or play an unnecessarily chilling emotional card, but suffice to say, there are plenty of people in this world that have gone into the OB-GYN office to check on the fetus, and the doctor has not been able to find a heartbeat anymore, and those people's world's collapsed.  I know people who have a folder, and in that folder is an ultrasound of their deceased "child".  Some even had names.    Did they not exist?   Who gets to say? 

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #252 on: May 31, 2019, 11:51:13 AM »
A co-worker and friend of Mrs. Cool Chris recently had a miscarriage around 20 weeks, and posted a picture of her holding the body on Facebook, complete with the name they planned to give him. That child definitely existed for that lady, even if it didn't exist outside the womb. Just an anecdote, not trying to persuade or contribute anything further.
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Offline Adami

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #253 on: May 31, 2019, 12:00:24 PM »
A co-worker and friend of Mrs. Cool Chris recently had a miscarriage around 20 weeks, and posted a picture of her holding the body on Facebook, complete with the name they planned to give him. That child definitely existed for that lady, even if it didn't exist outside the womb. Just an anecdote, not trying to persuade or contribute anything further.

And that's a lovely story about how we each experience these kinds of things differently. I would never want to live in a society where your wifes friend wasn't allowed to express that or do what she feels is necessary for that.
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #254 on: May 31, 2019, 12:06:23 PM »
We talked about it quite a bit. We had a miscarriage a few years back, though at a much earlier stage (10 or so weeks, didn't have a name picked out, didn't know gender). She referred to it as "the baby we lost" and I referred to it as "the miscarriage." We viewed it differently and felt about it differently.

I am also not a social media guy and don't have a FB account, and  It would never occur to me to post something like her friend did, let alone share it with anyone outside my very close circle, but have no real issue with someone else doing it.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #255 on: May 31, 2019, 12:27:25 PM »
For the record, my ex-wife and I experienced that as well.  We were somewhere in between.  If I remember right it was about 12 weeks, "Daniel" was in line if it was a boy, no name decided if it was a girl.   We were so happy, and when the doctor did the ultrasound, the emotions were high.   He repeated it, with a "hang on, this isn't always a science", it was fine, but when he repeated it again, and with much less gusto, then looked at my wife and said "I'm so sorry", it was like being punched in the face.    No social media then, so no pictures (we wouldn't have anyway), and there certainly wasn't any other ceremony or anything like that, but it's clearly an emotional experience that impacts you.   I'm more of a "look forward, celebrate the living" kind of person, so for me it's more of an experience than a loss, but I can understand how it might be looked at differently by others.

The interesting thing?  We had made the rookie mistake of telling people early that we were expecting, and when we had to share the disheartening news, we were stunned how many women pulled us (or just my wife) aside and said "I've been there too."  Even if there was no formal ceremony, I've been to funerals that weren't as... heavy. 

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #256 on: May 31, 2019, 12:49:25 PM »
I have 2 daughters and would give my life for them in a nanosecond.  Before them we had a miscarriage early in the pregnancy.  My wife took it hard but I did not.  I had no real connection to it other that in my imagination. 

Oh shit, you're right!

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Offline XJDenton

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #257 on: May 31, 2019, 12:54:25 PM »
Estimates of miscarriage rates are around 30-50% of all pregnancies and 10-20% of known pregnancies, so it's not too unusual that a reasonable number of women in your social circle might have gone through it. It's certainly way more common than I would have assumed.

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #258 on: May 31, 2019, 01:02:49 PM »
Very true. It's like some exclusive club, where only once you have one do others discuss with you that they had one too, as Stadler outlined in his story.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #259 on: May 31, 2019, 01:42:15 PM »
I don't know if your last post was in response to my most recent or not, so I'll just hit on this for now.

I don't that I would - "could" is the better word - make that distinction that "existence" (or not) is not the same as "death".   If you believe that the fetus is a life, they are concurrent, aren't they?   I'm all for splitting hairs if it let's us deal with the maximum number of people in the best possible way, but I think that's a splitting of hairs that creates a problem not solves it.   
Death occurs after the accumulation of life. For the most part the living want to live. The non-existent don't give a shit. We generally want to live because we've been alive. Myself, I have an inherent interest in what is to come. While I don't fear death I don't want to die for that reason (along with the pain it would cause loved ones). Had I never been born in the first place none of this would apply. Maybe you (general) want to live for the sake of your children. See above. You're not born, they're not born. Whatever keeps you from wanting to go out the window is only present because you existed in the first place. All of these things that instill a will to survive only happen because you were born and survived the first few years. If you never existed then what difference does it make?

Had you not been born or conceived?   

I don't disagree with your post at all, except for the definition of "exist".    You mention the "pain it would cause loved ones", and that "had you not been born in the first place, none of this would apply".   I don't want to say too much more because I don't want to sandbag you, or play an unnecessarily chilling emotional card, but suffice to say, there are plenty of people in this world that have gone into the OB-GYN office to check on the fetus, and the doctor has not been able to find a heartbeat anymore, and those people's world's collapsed.  I know people who have a folder, and in that folder is an ultrasound of their deceased "child".  Some even had names.    Did they not exist?   Who gets to say?
I'm most assuredly sympathetic to you and the various others for the pain that they've felt. Pain is real whether it's relatable or not. This isn't really about what I've been trying to say, though. You ask "Did they not exist?   Who gets to say?" and I would say that for the sake of my argument, that it's unfair to force existence upon somebody, the non-existee gets to say. I'm defining existence in this case as being a personal perspective. A foetus does exist to others, but I maintain that it doesn't exist from its own point of view. I exist. Before 1973 or so? Nope, not so much. Nada. To others I did, but the person I am today did not. At that point I had no vested interest in the outcome. Had I died from SIDS or something I'm certain I wouldn't be troubled about it today.

And while my folks would certainly have been bothered by it, that's not really the point either. I brought up the pain of others as my reason for not wanting to die. The woman having to make that decision on behalf of the unborn may or may not feel pain about it. She may or may not feel pain should the unfortunate occur. She will almost certainly feel pain should she be forced into a situation she's ill-equipped to cope with and unable to escape for the rest of her life.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #260 on: May 31, 2019, 02:21:01 PM »
So you're actually talking AFTER birth, though.   It's not as if you pop out and "Whamo! I exist!"

I understand your point - and admire the intellectual heft of the concept - but is it any more or less a definitive line than what we have?  Isn't the point still that there are varying degrees of buy in to this?  And more importantly, no clear overlap between this standard and what society might accept independent of the abortion question.   

All of this (as for me, anyway) is really still talking back to that point of each side having a position that is not just mutually exclusive of the other, but ideologically if not philosophically exclusive of the other.   I've been clear as to where my line is, I'm just trying to get to the point where we can all sort of understand that in general, the lines are not bright, and they aren't lines that people readily move or adjust. 

I'm only hammering the "a fetus is a life, entitled to protections under the Unites States Constitution as well as fundamental human rights, as of the point of conception" position, because there are some adamant proponents of the opposite take - a woman has full autonomy over her body and the cells connected to it until birth - and they don't need me piling on.   But something has to give, here, and I maintain that as long as we have "life=conception, non-negotiable" and "bodily autonomy, non-negotiable", we have a null set of potential solutions.   

Offline El Barto

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #261 on: May 31, 2019, 03:37:04 PM »
So you're actually talking AFTER birth, though.   It's not as if you pop out and "Whamo! I exist!"
I was born in 1970, so I gave myself 3 years to figure it out.  :lol

And yes I am talking about after birth, but only as an illustrative point to a very specific part of this discussion. Otherwise were we to continue down this path I'd be advocating for a parent's right to commit infanticide on the basis of "eh, the kid's not worth a fuck anyway." Obviously I am not. What I am attempting to do is illustrate the difference between death and non-existence. I would suggest to you that at no point between conception and the age of reason does a foetus or person give a fuck about their existence.

You still believe in some tenets of the Catholic/Christian belief. Think about it this way. From your Catholic perspective is there a difference between you dying now and you never having existed in the first place? One would presumably have you in either the attic, the ground floor, or the basement of the afterlife. The other has nobody anywhere. One involved a person attempting to control that outcome. The other involved nobody at all. One represents the loss of a great many things. The other was no loss at all, as we don't lament the things we don't know about.

With all of that in mind, I maintain that there's a fundamental problem with forcing existence upon every potential life.

Quote
I understand your point - and admire the intellectual heft of the concept - but is it any more or less a definitive line than what we have?  Isn't the point still that there are varying degrees of buy in to this?  And more importantly, no clear overlap between this standard and what society might accept independent of the abortion question.   

All of this (as for me, anyway) is really still talking back to that point of each side having a position that is not just mutually exclusive of the other, but ideologically if not philosophically exclusive of the other.   I've been clear as to where my line is, I'm just trying to get to the point where we can all sort of understand that in general, the lines are not bright, and they aren't lines that people readily move or adjust. 

I'm only hammering the "a fetus is a life, entitled to protections under the Unites States Constitution as well as fundamental human rights, as of the point of conception" position, because there are some adamant proponents of the opposite take - a woman has full autonomy over her body and the cells connected to it until birth - and they don't need me piling on.   But something has to give, here, and I maintain that as long as we have "life=conception, non-negotiable" and "bodily autonomy, non-negotiable", we have a null set of potential solutions.

Where that magical line comes into play is a different point altogether, and its importance to me is very different than to you. What's important to me is the recognition that none of us are capable of knowing or understanding where that line might be. It's a matter that we must each decide for ourselves. It can not be left up to the government. It's a spiritual belief, no different than the existence of God or Gods, and must remain the purview of each individual person to determine.

And while I understand your greater point, that there's more to this discussion than the extremities it normally gets boiled down to, it seems to me to be the pro-life crowd that has a problem there. You have Harmony advocating for her right to make that determination based on her own convictions and morality, and you have the other side that wishes to make that determination for everybody. Like it or not, Harmony has standing in this matter. She's arguing for her right to make that determination. The pro-life set is arguing on the basis that she's wrong.



edit: and on a related note, I was watching Homer's Enemy last night (Simpsons s12e23) and reverend Lovejoy says something at Grimey's funeral that beautifully illustrates my point here, and I keep laughing about today posting in this thread. "And even though Frank's agonizing journey through life was tragically cut short. . ." That really nails it for me.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 03:52:02 PM by El Barto »
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Offline Harmony

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #262 on: May 31, 2019, 04:03:52 PM »

Where that magical line comes into play is a different point altogether, and its importance to me is very different than to you. What's important to me is the recognition that none of us are capable of knowing or understanding where that line might be. It's a matter that we must each decide for ourselves. It can not be left up to the government. It's a spiritual belief, no different than the existence of God or Gods, and must remain the purview of each individual person to determine.

And while I understand your greater point, that there's more to this discussion than the extremities it normally gets boiled down to, it seems to me to be the pro-life crowd that has a problem there. You have Harmony advocating for her right to make that determination based on her own convictions and morality, and you have the other side that wishes to make that determination for everybody. Like it or not, Harmony has standing in this matter. She's arguing for her right to make that determination. The pro-life set is arguing on the basis that she's wrong.

THANK YOU

You hit the ball out of the friggin' park, EB.   :tup

And FTR, I am arguing in first person for a reason.  For should another woman want to pull out all the stops for her 23 week fetus with encephalocele who undoubtedly die within hours or days after birth then I'm on HER SIDE TOO.  I am in no place to make any sort of reproductive health care decision for any adult, male or female.  That is best left to the patient and their doctor.  Not some politician, not some church, not some PAC, not you, and certainly not me. 


Offline bosk1

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #263 on: May 31, 2019, 04:37:11 PM »
Lots of excellent points.  I've been reading, but mostly staying out of the fray.  But one thing I'll add:
Like it or not, Harmony has standing in this matter. She's arguing for her right to make that determination. The pro-life set is arguing on the basis that she's wrong.

Not exactly.  Or, at least, not for me.  I'm not arguing that the pro-choice (taking Harmony individually out of it) argument is "wrong."  I think there is an important nuance that is missed, which is:  The woman's right to bodily autonomy IS sacrosanct.  But it isn't the ONLY sacrosanct interest at stake.  There are two.  The other is the life of the child.  And unless we are dealing with those rare occurrences where the life of the woman is at risk, we are dealing with one scenario where one life dies and one scenario where neither does. 

Do you see the difference between that and what you said?

And note that I'm not asking whether you agree with it?  I fully realize that, as you have said thoroughly, you do not agree that the fetus is a life (or, at least, not a sentient life at the same level as 1973-Barto).  I'm not trying to persuade you.  I'm just attempting to get you (and others) to see what the other side is actually arguing.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #264 on: May 31, 2019, 05:39:14 PM »
Lots of excellent points.  I've been reading, but mostly staying out of the fray.  But one thing I'll add:
Like it or not, Harmony has standing in this matter. She's arguing for her right to make that determination. The pro-life set is arguing on the basis that she's wrong.

Not exactly.  Or, at least, not for me.  I'm not arguing that the pro-choice (taking Harmony individually out of it) argument is "wrong."  I think there is an important nuance that is missed, which is:  The woman's right to bodily autonomy IS sacrosanct.  But it isn't the ONLY sacrosanct interest at stake.  There are two.  The other is the life of the child.  And unless we are dealing with those rare occurrences where the life of the woman is at risk, we are dealing with one scenario where one life dies and one scenario where neither does. 

Do you see the difference between that and what you said?

And note that I'm not asking whether you agree with it?  I fully realize that, as you have said thoroughly, you do not agree that the fetus is a life (or, at least, not a sentient life at the same level as 1973-Barto).  I'm not trying to persuade you.  I'm just attempting to get you (and others) to see what the other side is actually arguing.
Oh, I certainly understand the difference, and I understand the argument that you and Stadler are making. In fact, the reason I didn't reply to Harmony's initial post here was because I knew that Stadler would express it better than I, and even though I don't much like it, it was the proper reply to her post regarding the bodily autonomy argument. While I disagree with them I don't object to them believing that life begins at conception. The point that I've been making, and though I suspect you already get it I'll restate, is that when that sentience begins is a spiritual matter and something that has to be decided personally. I don't know about you, but I think Harmony has the right to sort that out according to her own morality. As do you, I, and a few billion other folk. Now, note that I said that they're arguing on the basis that she's wrong. I think that is necessarily true. While they're arguing on the behalf of the unborn, or so they think, they feel compelled to do so because they think Harmony's personal assessment is wrong. I see it as an affliction of moral values. So I think I have a pretty good grasp of their argument. I simply object to their claiming of a universal moral certainty.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #265 on: June 03, 2019, 10:56:26 AM »
So you're actually talking AFTER birth, though.   It's not as if you pop out and "Whamo! I exist!"
I was born in 1970, so I gave myself 3 years to figure it out.  :lol

How kind of you.  :) 

Quote
And yes I am talking about after birth, but only as an illustrative point to a very specific part of this discussion. Otherwise were we to continue down this path I'd be advocating for a parent's right to commit infanticide on the basis of "eh, the kid's not worth a fuck anyway." Obviously I am not. What I am attempting to do is illustrate the difference between death and non-existence. I would suggest to you that at no point between conception and the age of reason does a foetus or person give a fuck about their existence.

I wouldn't disagree with that in any way.  No argument.  I struggle - as I'm sure you might too - with how that information can and might be used by various people at various points on the abortion continuum. 

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You still believe in some tenets of the Catholic/Christian belief. Think about it this way. From your Catholic perspective is there a difference between you dying now and you never having existed in the first place? One would presumably have you in either the attic, the ground floor, or the basement of the afterlife. The other has nobody anywhere. One involved a person attempting to control that outcome. The other involved nobody at all. One represents the loss of a great many things. The other was no loss at all, as we don't lament the things we don't know about.

PURELY Catholic, and with the (I'm sorry, I think necessary) caveat that my Catholicism has little influence on my day-to-day rationalizations, there is a difference.   The difference being a soul.   

Quote
With all of that in mind, I maintain that there's a fundamental problem with forcing existence upon every potential life.

I can be convinced of that, because on it's face I have no quibble, but it's the same problem; who gets to decide and what's the default (that's more important here than some of us are letting on); it's not always enough to "let the woman decide", because we still need a fallback when the woman hasn't decided for one reason or another, or can't.   I would think that all of us, but certainly, a woman who values her autonomy most of all, would balk at "but this is what she would have wanted".   

Quote

Where that magical line comes into play is a different point altogether, and its importance to me is very different than to you. What's important to me is the recognition that none of us are capable of knowing or understanding where that line might be. It's a matter that we must each decide for ourselves. It can not be left up to the government. It's a spiritual belief, no different than the existence of God or Gods, and must remain the purview of each individual person to determine.

But please understand my take on this:  I agree that we can't know (at least not at present) where this line is.  And please understand that I PERSONALLY default to "let's each make that determination for ourselves".  We're simpatico here.  But there is a group that DOESN'T adhere to that default, and we have to - yes, I believe we HAVE to - acknowledge that.  I also agree that it can't be left to the government, but understand why it is being left to the government:  this is the cosmic version of "you two in the backseat ought to work it out, because if your mother and I have to stop this car, NO ONE IS GOING TO LIKE THE RESULT!!"     

I've been saying this for years now, and I know you get it, but not sure that everyone else does:  government SHOULDN'T be in the business of living our lives for us, they shouldn't be in the business of guaranteeing outcomes, but they are, irreparably, in the business of acting as arbiter of conflicts of rights.  There is not one example of a case of fundamental rights clashing - my free speech versus your right to pursue happiness; my right to liberty and your right to privacy; my right to bear arms and your right to life - that isn't in the purview of the government. That's what this is.   If NO ONE (or everyone) agree on the beginning point of life - conception, viability, something else - then we could reasonably say that government ought to back the fuck up.    But just like the LGBT movement used the courts to further their rights (which again, was a conflict between rights) and minorities used the courts to further their rights, so here.   

We can paint the narrative about a bunch of religious whack jobs and he-man women haters all day long, but NONE of that would have ANY traction in government if there wasn't a fundamental conflict of rights as well. 

Quote
 
And while I understand your greater point, that there's more to this discussion than the extremities it normally gets boiled down to, it seems to me to be the pro-life crowd that has a problem there. You have Harmony advocating for her right to make that determination based on her own convictions and morality, and you have the other side that wishes to make that determination for everybody. Like it or not, Harmony has standing in this matter. She's arguing for her right to make that determination. The pro-life set is arguing on the basis that she's wrong.

I swear to you, I did not read this last paragraph before I responded above (that's how I do) and you just proved my point.  There might be people that believe that, but that's NOT why it's been a legal and philosophical conundrum since 1973 (and well before).  This is NOT, legally, between people that want autonomy and people that want to play god.  That's what it LOOKS like, and that's great for the victim narrative, but it's not what sustains court cases.  The LEGAL basis for the discussion is not that "some man with a cross thinks Harmony is wrong", it's that there is a credible argument - that the "autonomy" people haven't fully refuted - that it's only their call up to a point.  It's why I introduced the other examples where parents have control over another individual - a child - to a point.    The entrenched "I have AUTONOMY!" group doesn't seem to want to concede that - like all of us, men, women, etc. - ALL fundamental rights are up for reasonable and compelling limitation.  There is NO right - not life, not liberty, not pursuit of happiness, or any of the rights that flow therefrom - that is not limited in SOME way by the state.

So too, autonomy of body.  I can be compelled to produce DNA evidence at times.  I can be compelled to receive medical treatment at times.   And it's not a great, Bob Beamon leap to say that if I'm a woman "I can be compelled to limit my bodily autonomy at times", that time being when a separate, individual, with rights under the Constitution, would lose their fundamental right to life in doing so.   

Quote
edit: and on a related note, I was watching Homer's Enemy last night (Simpsons s12e23) and reverend Lovejoy says something at Grimey's funeral that beautifully illustrates my point here, and I keep laughing about today posting in this thread. "And even though Frank's agonizing journey through life was tragically cut short. . ." That really nails it for me.

Haha.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #266 on: June 03, 2019, 11:27:50 AM »
Quote
With all of that in mind, I maintain that there's a fundamental problem with forcing existence upon every potential life.
I can be convinced of that, because on it's face I have no quibble, but it's the same problem; who gets to decide and what's the default (that's more important here than some of us are letting on); it's not always enough to "let the woman decide", because we still need a fallback when the woman hasn't decided for one reason or another, or can't.   I would think that all of us, but certainly, a woman who values her autonomy most of all, would balk at "but this is what she would have wanted".
That's a very narrow exception that could be sorted out in the courts without restricting all women's rights. Again, Southern states aren't looking to resolve the oddball problem that occurs in law. They're looking to restrict the rights of everybody based on their own spiritual beliefs.

Quote
We can paint the narrative about a bunch of religious whack jobs and he-man women haters all day long, but NONE of that would have ANY traction in government if there wasn't a fundamental conflict of rights as well.
So let the foeti sue. They'd have standing. Otherwise you're moving forward with a lawsuit on behalf of something that might or might not actually exist. An existence that can only be realized through a spiritual assessment.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #267 on: June 03, 2019, 12:08:40 PM »
So let the foeti sue. They'd have standing. Otherwise you're moving forward with a lawsuit on behalf of something that might or might not actually exist. An existence that can only be realized through a spiritual assessment.

Legally, I have no problem with that.  It's due process, and how do you argue with that?   Each and every time there is an abortion to be performed we would have to notify the state to give them the opportunity to contest the abortion at a hearing.  Morally, philosophically, not so much.   

But ultimately the outcome is the same. In those states that seem to be sympathetic to abortion, the cases would be decided as such, and in states where it is not so much the case, it is likely that the hearings would fall on the side of the fetus and their right to live, such that that life may be. 

But then there's the PR shit show.  Not that this should control how things go, but over/under on how many of these do you think before a Gloria Allred takes the "war on women argument", packages it with a "cruel and inhuman punishment" argument and makes it a, literally, Federal case?    My number is zero. 

Offline vtgrad

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Re: Abortion
« Reply #268 on: June 03, 2019, 01:33:36 PM »
Lots of excellent points.  I've been reading, but mostly staying out of the fray.  But one thing I'll add:
Like it or not, Harmony has standing in this matter. She's arguing for her right to make that determination. The pro-life set is arguing on the basis that she's wrong.

Not exactly.  Or, at least, not for me.  I'm not arguing that the pro-choice (taking Harmony individually out of it) argument is "wrong."  I think there is an important nuance that is missed, which is:  The woman's right to bodily autonomy IS sacrosanct.  But it isn't the ONLY sacrosanct interest at stake.  There are two.  The other is the life of the child.  And unless we are dealing with those rare occurrences where the life of the woman is at risk, we are dealing with one scenario where one life dies and one scenario where neither does. 

Do you see the difference between that and what you said?

And note that I'm not asking whether you agree with it?  I fully realize that, as you have said thoroughly, you do not agree that the fetus is a life (or, at least, not a sentient life at the same level as 1973-Barto).  I'm not trying to persuade you.  I'm just attempting to get you (and others) to see what the other side is actually arguing.
Oh, I certainly understand the difference, and I understand the argument that you and Stadler are making. In fact, the reason I didn't reply to Harmony's initial post here was because I knew that Stadler would express it better than I, and even though I don't much like it, it was the proper reply to her post regarding the bodily autonomy argument. While I disagree with them I don't object to them believing that life begins at conception. The point that I've been making, and though I suspect you already get it I'll restate, is that when that sentience begins is a spiritual matter and something that has to be decided personally. I don't know about you, but I think Harmony has the right to sort that out according to her own morality. As do you, I, and a few billion other folk. Now, note that I said that they're arguing on the basis that she's wrong. I think that is necessarily true. While they're arguing on the behalf of the unborn, or so they think, they feel compelled to do so because they think Harmony's personal assessment is wrong. I see it as an affliction of moral values. So I think I have a pretty good grasp of their argument. I simply object to their claiming of a universal moral certainty.

This exchange (as well as Harmony's previous words) reflects the nuance that... forgive me for this... most people ordinarily miss.  I think I've written this many, many times before in many different posts here... only God can change a person (their heart, their thoughts, their actions, etc).  While I personally do not agree with abortion because of my own convictions, that doesn't mean that I hate the person that does agree with it.  We answer for ourselves (in the broader Spiritual sense)... I don't answer for you, and you don't answer for me, and that's as it should be I think.   

When did our society shift to the requirement of hating someone that you disagree with?  Why can we (broader society) not disagree with each other without broad hate for a sub-section or group of people or actual personal hatred?  This is something I've never understood... at least for as long as I've actually thought about it.  I feel that I could sit with someone that I disagree with and have a discussion, even a heated discussion, about a topic like abortion and come away without hating them or spewing personal insults... I've just never understood why we cannot disagree over the handling of the issues of life and not hate one another.  Perhaps I'm a cock-eyed optimist (Seinfeld reference), but I tend to believe that discussion is how we truly think... someone states an opinion, someone else states an opposing opinion, and both people let those opposing views battle in their minds based on their own convictions; again, I'm an optimist.

That's not to say that I think that we should all set our own moral convictions as use for society in general in the broadest sense (something Nietzsche postulated when he stated that God was dead), for if there are no absolutes at all, then what reins is anarchy... and that's not good either.  There are so many levels to each argument and so many subtle nuances to each situation that I would view it as impossible to craft laws that reflect each and every instance, but our society has to have a base-line from which to draw in order to begin to make decisions.  The hinges that open and close on that baseline and the decisions that follow those hinges should perhaps lay with the individual.  How do we lay that baseline?  Each person again will have their own convictions and ideas based on those convictions.  We can all have convictions/ideas that disagree and still not hate each other...

Of course you guys know that I'm talking about hate in society and identity politics as a whole... not in this forum.

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